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From The Socialist newspaper, 9 January 2013

Birmingham Labour's 'grotesque chaos'

Ted, Birmingham Socialist Party

Birmingham city's ruling Labour Party has quickly raised the white flag to the Con-Dem government. The council organised public meetings to present its case for massive, highly damaging cuts.

In Erdington, the audience of around 150 were talked at for over an hour before we were invited to say which services were most or least important.

Labour's council leader, Sir Albert Bore, attacked me after I joined other audience members in demanding a 'needs budget'.

As the biggest local authority in Europe, Birmingham city council would be best placed to lead a rebellion against the government.

These points, and the others who argued against cuts, drew big rounds of applause, in contrast to the entire top table who received not a single clap in two hours!

In a grasping response Sir Albert recalled the 1980s Labour Party conference when then-leader Neil Kinnock denounced "grotesque chaos" at Liverpool city council.

Liverpool had indeed taken on the Tory government, and won 60 million extra funding for jobs, services and over 5,000 homes. How chaotic!

This approach, in the tradition of previous principled Labour councillors at Clay Cross and Poplar, is alien to the likes of Sir Albert who talk of the 'end of local government' and 'decommissioning entire services' in order to set a balanced budget. This is supposedly responsible!

Labour locally has concentrated on Birmingham being disproportionally hit. Sir Albert says he has written to Tory community-slasher Eric Pickles to win back 80 million. Even if Pickles concedes, this will barely make a dent in the 600 million of cuts.

Socialist Party members have also attended the other consultations, but more importantly we will be at the forefront in building resistance.

This includes building TUSC and encouraging local activists to stand as council candidates against the cuts.

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In The Socialist 9 January 2013:


Socialist Party news and analysis

"Enough is enough!" - Fight all cuts

2013: Prepare for a mighty battle against deeper cuts

Unite the Union general secretary election

More attacks on benefits...

Making it easier to sack workers

More Tory privatisation

Who's neglecting society, Mr Lamb?

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

India: Mass rage against rape

South Africa: Founding of Workers and Socialist Party


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Prepare for strike action to save our hospitals

'The Eight Consultations of Christmas' in Southampton

Birmingham Labour's 'grotesque chaos'

Anti-cuts election candidates

Campaigns - In brief

2012 Fighting Fund target smashed

Socialist Party women's meeting


Obituary

Robbie Segal


Socialist Party workplace news

Standing firm in Mid Yorks hospitals pay cuts battle

London Underground cleaners strike over New Year

Tyne and Wear Metro strikers tell bosses to end poverty pay

Losing patience with Usdaw


 

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